New Posts

Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

read in full
Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

read in full
Jan 25, 2016

U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. Howe...

read in full
Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

read in full
more news

Can the House GOP Live Within Its Own Budget?

Yesterday, the House of Representatives pulled the annual spending bill that funds the Transportation Department and Department of Housing and Urban Development (THUD Bill) from its calendar because the chance it would be passed by the Republican-controlled House was low.

 “The prospects for passing this bill in September are bleak at best, given the vote count on passage that was apparent this afternoon,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) said in a statement.

read in full

The Impact on Public Investment from Drops in Non-Defense Discretionary Spending

While the damaging impacts of austerity have received increased attention in recent weeks, a new report from the Economic Policy Institute shows that most of the major budget plans being considered in Washington would make things worse.

read in full

Hang Together or Hang Separately: The Battle Against Austerity

Sequestration's automatic spending cuts were back in the news over the past few weeks. For a brief time, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had to furlough employees, leading to nationwide flight delays. At roughly the same time, a researcher exposed major flaws in one of the key texts serving as an intellectual buttress to global austerity policies. While those fighting against economically damaging austerity measures received a boost from these events, many fiscal policy battles and pitfalls still lie ahead.

read in full

House Budget Plans Do Not Reflect Americans' Views on Public Investments

Sequestration's automatic cuts to federal spending are beginning to sting in communities across the country, and two of the four major congressional budget plans put forth this year are at odds with public opinion on specific areas of public investments, according to a Center for Effective Government analysis. As the Pew Research Center found in a pre-sequestration poll in February, most Americans say they support maintaining or increasing funding for specific federal programs, including education, Social Security, and Medicare.

read in full

Congress Sets Stage for Second Budget Showdown

On Jan. 23, the House of Representatives sidestepped a battle over the debt ceiling and prepared itself instead for a coming fight over sequestration and a possible government shutdown. The No Budget, No Pay Act (H.R. 325), passed by the House, suspends the debt ceiling until May 18 and ties congressional pay to passage of budget resolutions in the House and Senate by April 15.

read in full

Congressional Progressive Caucus and Ryan Revenue Proposals: Two Sides of the Budget Coin

The fiscal year (FY) 2013 budgets proposed by the House Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chair of the House Budget Committee, are perfect examples of the fact that budgets are about choices. The revenue proposals in each serve as a study of opposites. Where the Ryan budget would double down on the Bush tax cuts and provide huge windfalls to the country’s wealthiest, the CPC’s proposal – The Budget for All – would ask those with the most wealth to help fund important investments in our public structures.

read in full

House FY 2013 Budget: Another Nail in the Budget Control Act Coffin

Leading up to the release of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget resolution proposal, the question has not been whether House Republicans will adhere to the federal spending agreement reached in last year’s debt ceiling deal (they will not), but how far below the previously agreed-upon figures they will go. The House GOP’s abandonment of this agreement is yet another example of actions taken to undermine not only the spirit but also the letter of last summer’s deal.

read in full

Budget 101: The Differences between the President's Budget and a Budget Resolution

Today, the House released its budget resolution, a document laying out that chamber's budget priorities for the coming fiscal year. The budget resolution is often compared to another document, the president's budget, which is usually released a few weeks earlier. But these two documents are very different in both content and purpose. The budget resolution creates a budgetary framework for Congress, while the president's budget is more of a strategic planning document for federal agencies. These differences make it difficult to compare and contrast the documents' competing policies.

read in full

Congress Passes Year's First Spending Bill With Plenty of Riders, Declares Pizza a Vegetable

Late last week, Congress passed the first spending bill for fiscal year (FY) 2012, 48 days after it began. The bill, known as a minibus, is a bundle of three smaller appropriations bills, and collectively, the three bills are about a billion dollars lower than their level last year. Because the remaining nine spending bills required to keep the government running have yet to be approved, the minibus includes another stopgap spending measure, designed to keep the government open until Dec. 16. However, tucked inside the minibus is a litany of restrictions on spending designed to change non-budgetary federal policy.  Even though congressional rules are supposed to prevent the practice of slipping policy initiatives into funding bills, the minibus includes 75 policy riders that affect everything from gun regulations to the weight of planes flying into New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport, and even declare that pizza is a vegetable.

read in full

The Backup Budget

A bizarre ritual is going on in Congress in advance of fiscal year (FY) 2012. Appropriators are doing their job, writing and passing bills setting the year’s discretionary spending levels, but their efforts might be wasted. With the budget becoming tightly entwined with the looming debt ceiling deadline, all of the recent appropriations activity is probably for naught.

read in full


Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

read in full

A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

read in full
more resources